A short guide on selecting the perfect glassware for you!
A huge part of tablescaping is selecting the appropriate glassware for your events. Think of it like your outfit’s accessories—without proper glassware, your tablescape will look strange and bare.
Different styles of glassware were borne from the need of different drinks. Types of liquors, beers, and wines, for example, benefit from the glass you put them in. Aside from having a functional use, different styles of glassware also add different effects to your table.
Styles of glassware
While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different glassware styles, each can be sorted into two generic categories: stemware and barware. Knowing the differences between these two is crucial to selecting the appropriate glasses for your event.
Essentially, stemware is any glassware with a stem between its base and its body. Think wine glasses, champagne flutes, and goblets that allow the drinker to hold a drink without affecting its temperature.
Barware is, in the most general sense, any glassware with a flat, solid base. While most commonly used to describe glassware found in bars—like whiskey tumblers and highball glasses—barware also encompasses what most people would consider everyday glasses.
In the world of glassware items can be made out of glass or crystal. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks, which will ultimately help you decide which best suits your needs and your lifestyle.
Glass is the cheapest and most common material to create glassware from. Most modern and mass manufacturing companies use glass to keep the costs low. To increase durability, glassware made from glass are usually made thicker than those made from crystal. As it is also a non-porous material, most are dishwasher-safe. However, it doesn’t give off a sparkling sheen the way crystal does.
Crystal, on the other hand, is weightier, clearer, more brilliant, and oftentimes more expensive. You can choose from either lead or lead-free options, but all crystal include minerals that strengthen the glass—allowing for very thin but durable glassware. Because of its components, crystal is sometimes not dishwasher-friendly, something to keep in mind when purchasing your sets.
Making the choice
While I’d obviously love to have all the glassware in the world, I understand that this is impractical for many reasons. Investing in glassware is serious business, and so I recommend picking your glassware based on your lifestyle. Take note of the feel and the weight, and if it’s comfortable enough to be used daily. What kind of events are you having? Are you a drinker? Are you willing to hand wash your glasses or are you purely a dishwasher type of person? Think of storage space as well—you may simply not have enough space for that impractical, yet beautiful, set.
These questions will help you determine what kind of glasses to purchase, and how much to invest in your glassware.
Caring for your glass
So you’ve finally decided to invest in your sets… now what? Learning to care for your glassware is key to properly maintaining your purchases.
Fine glass, like thin crystal, should be hand washed and gently dried with a lint-free cloth. Glasses in general should be stored right side up to avoid damaging the rims, which is especially important for very thin glass.
While each manufacturer is different, in general glassware made from glass is dishwasher-safe, while crystal is not. However, most lead-free crystal is also made to be dishwasher-friendly. At the end of the day, I recommend checking with the manufacturer to be 100% sure.
My final words
There are so many different styles of glassware to choose from, and so many things to decide. Not to mention learning how to incorporate your glassware into your tablescapes, which is a whole world unto its own. But that’s why I’m here to help! Check out my posts to get you inspired and started, and dive into this amazing and interesting world of glassware with me! Happy scaping!